President of Ukraine

President discussed decentralization reform with territorial communities' representatives: Ukraine will become much stronger as a state

29 August 2015 - 14:12

President discussed decentralization reform with territorial communities' representatives: Ukraine will become much stronger as a state

President discussed decentralization reform with territorial communities' representatives: Ukraine will become much stronger as a state

The President emphasized that the purpose of today's meeting is to exchange views and arguments: "We must reach common views and create a solid argumentation for the people's deputies to approve the reform on the provision of powers to the local government and territorial communities on August 31 in the course of the extraordinary parliamentary session".

President Petro Poroshenko discussed constitutional amendments on decentralization with representatives of territorial communities. The Head of State emphasized that Ukraine will become much stronger as a result of the given reform.

"Despite the fact that the President delegates a part of his powers, I, as President, will be stronger, because I will be able to rely on territorial communities and local self-government and ensure a firm union that will prevent internal destabilization of the country. The Government, ministers, territorial communities and the entire people of Ukraine will be stronger and more powerful. That's why we must go this way," the President stressed.

The President emphasized that the purpose of today's meeting is to exchange views and arguments: "We must reach common views and create a solid argumentation for the people's deputies to approve the reform on the provision of powers to the local government and territorial communities on August 31 in the course of the extraordinary parliamentary session".

According to the President, the absence of real powers of the local authorities has been the main reason of inefficient public administration for 24 years of Ukraine's independence.

The President mentioned the anti-corruption aspect of decentralization reform. "We are determined to appoint honest people and punish those who take bribes. I firmly instructed the law enforcement bodies to pay special attention to the officials who occupy the most tempting posts," the President informed. According to him, two DSA Heads were arrested for bribery last week pursuant to the order of the President. In addition, two days ago, Chief of Odesa police was arrested for bribery as well. "But we will not change the situation only with arrests. We must convey real powers to the local authorities," the Head of State emphasized.

The President noted that powers on the appointment of the government shall be transferred from the Head of State to the territorial communities. The community elects deputies who appoint executive committees. The prefect, as representative of the President, shall only monitor compliance with legislation, especially in the context of possible separatist movements and encroachment on sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Speaking of article 18 of "Transitional provisions" of the Constitution, which provides for peculiarities of local self-government in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the President noted: "Some people say that it will pose a threat of separate status. There is no separate status!". According to the Head of State, present Constitution already has article 92, which provides for the possibility of special status. "Some people already tried to use this article: Zaporizhzhia regional council decided to address the President and the Parliament demanding special status. Then, we will have the parade of sovereignties," Petro Poroshenko said. "Constitutional amendments eliminate the right to create a status. And the 18th item of "Transitional provisions" provides the opportunity of special regime solely within the powers of the local self-government. If you make a step further, you will be punished," the President noted.

Petro Poroshenko emphasized that there had been no external pressure during the elaboration of constitutional amendments. The Head of State reminded that the amendments had been presented to the public more than a year ago. Then, experts, local government officials and NGO representatives have been working over them. As a result, the draft amendments have been approved by the Constitutional Commission.

The President particularly noted that the international community, particularly the EU and USA, confirmed the implementation of the Minsk agreements by Ukraine and praised the constitutional reform on decentralization. "There is only one country, which is not satisfied with these amendments. However, if Russia doesn't like them, it means that we are moving in the right direction," the President emphasized.

"Subsidiarity means that everything that can be solved at the basic level of territorial communities, must be solved there. Choose the people you trust and ask them. And the President will be responsible for the integrity of the state, national security, defense, law enforcement issues, protection of rights and freedoms of the Ukrainian citizens," Petro Poroshenko said.

The meeting was attended by Chairman of the Parliament Volodymyr Groysman, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine - Minister of Regional Development, Construction and HCS Hennadiy Zubko, First Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Vitaliy Kovalchuk and Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Rostyslav Pavlenko.